The Beth Project: Chapter 1, Vol. 1
“No one is going to save you from this, B.”
I know we don’t have much time but you need to know the story from the beginning. As far back as I can remember I always had moments where I could feel what other people were thinking. It wasn’t all the time and for the longest time I didn’t think it was real. I thought I was just imagining it. At four I remember sitting next to my Dad on the bed in the master bedroom. In his face I could see the pain of his addiction. I could feel it. It was overwhelming but at four you don’t understand pain that way. You understand the pain of a scraped elbow, not an inner battle over how soon you can get your daughter out of the room before you can shoot up again.
How long is too long? I need to be alone. She can’t see me get high but I really need to get high.
“Get out of here!” he yelled. And slammed the door in my face.
One time I actually caught him shooting up. A lot of doors slammed in my face during this time.
God, what am I doing?
These thoughts were like vocalizations in my head but he never moved his lips. I could hear his thoughts.
Around 12 I was spending a lot of time with my Grandma after school. One day we were sitting outside on the porch drinking diet soda on ice. I remember thinking there must be a grandma and granddaughter sitting together enjoying soda in some other part of the world right now at this very second. I told her my idea and she looked at me with a surprise.
That’s what I was thinking.
I didn’t realize at the time then that her thoughts were projecting into my mind. The voices connected better the older I got but I still didn’t understand what it all meant. I woke up in the middle of the night one night and new she had passed away. My mom came in to tell me only 30 minutes later. I honestly thought I was perceptive. I thought I was smart and a good read of character.
Times like these didn’t add up because there were so many people that I couldn’t read at all. I was a child so I really didn’t stop to think about it. I thought everyone experienced this. I thought it was normal so I never talked about it.
In high school my best friend and I used to exchange notes; we’d fill spiral notebooks full of letters to each other like expanded diaries of our days apart. I always knew when the mean girl of our group was gong to strike next. I could always tell when someone was plotting to get a guy to like her. I could always tell when a guy liked me.
The funny thing is that I wasn’t that smart at all. Still not. I didn’t recognize this as any kind of ability and didn’t talk about it. Like I said, I thought everyone had this. I remember even being careful with what I was projecting in my own head so others couldn’t tap into what I was truly thinking.
Right after high school I dated a guy from my same suburban upbringing. He was an empath in it’s truest form and he scared me. His delicate mind was so weak with quivering senses and fearful solutions I actually got sick in the bathroom one night from it. Like a bad bowl of shrimp cocktail.
If the world collapsed onto me the only thing left would be concrete and ants.
My love for him was stupid and childish. I thought I could change him. It was my first experience trying to unsuccessfully change someone who doesn’t want to change. The only way anyone can change is if they want to change, themselves.
I love her so much I want to die.
The drama ensued and we eventually broke up.
I can still hear my mom’s voice when she told me I couldn’t be saved. I don’t mean giving my heart to Jesus, it goes way past that. She knew I struggled with the voices. She knew I could feel her emotions because she could do the same. I never understood what was going on and she never talked about it until that one time on the plane.
We were flying to the midwest to visit extended family. We sat next to each other on the plane and I remember she looked strange. I was seeing colors on her face like I was tripping on a very fun drug. Except I didn’t do drugs at the time and they were forming like waves of emotion across her brow and over her nose.
I know you can read my mind, B.
Never had anyone addressed me by name and indicated they knew I could read their mind. My mom never shared much with me. You could say she was a little cold and clinical when it came to being a mother but we had a fragmented past and I can’t blame her for closing up shop to protect herself. I can’t tell you how it started for her because it wasn’t in her nature to explain things to me. There are so many unanswered questions but I can only tell you how it started for me.
I went years bumbling around jobs, college and men before I finally felt like an adult. And then it all stopped completely one day. I can’t remember a trigger but the silence went on for years. I couldn’t read a single soul and I assumed I was over my ability to see an emotion and hear voices. I was wrong.
My real journey began on my thirtieth birthday when I did garaxyphan for the first time. A lot of my friends had been into it for years but I was always too afraid of getting high. After my childhood of random drug exposure, I felt traumatized and unsure if I would fall into an addictive lifestyle, too. I heard stories of euphoria and clarity mixed with love and energy. I hadn’t heard voices in so long, I almost hoped that this could be a way to really see people again. At the same time, I was worried that exact thing would happen. I didn’t know what the result was going to be but I felt like I needed to try it. I wanted to try it.
My name is Beth 37Z-9A6. I’m from Pariswood and this is my project.
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[Featured image via Unsplash]